Brett Young: Behind The Caliville Tour

On Nov 17, I had the privilege of attending Brett Young’s Caliville tour as a VIP. The man, the myth, the legend, Brett Young never lets you down meet & greet and performance wise. You may say I’m a tad biased because of how many times I’ve seen Brett live, but if you’ve experienced what I have then you’d be too.

The VIP included an acoustic show, meet & greets, and a poster. Well worth the money if you like hearing a heavenly voice while staring at eye candy. No, but honestly, Brett is the sweetest most down-to-earth human you will ever meet. He doesn’t have one bad bone in his body. It also helps that he’s better live than studio.

I haven’t heard some of his new songs on his self-titled album that dropped in February of 2017 until this night, and it was well worth the wait. But first, let’s talk about VIP.

Brett played two of his hit songs “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Like I Loved You;” he also he answered some questions from fans. The VIP was small and acoustic-style with just him and his guitar. When it’s just Brett and his guitar, this happens..

You can’t dislike “Memory Won’t Let Me,” and if you do, I dislike you. Written by Brett Young, Justin Ebach and Steven Dale Jones, It has a California-summer vibe when you give it a listen. This song has single & hit written all over it from start to finish.

One of the best heartbreak song’s of the year is “Mercy” on his self-titled album. Written by Brett Young and Sean McConnell.  It’s heart-rending, yet you don’t want to stop listening to it. I think this might be one of my top favorites from Brett. The lyrics are so vulnerable, which makes it a fan favorite. He had the crowd belting this song out for his encore.

 

Brett Young’s Caliville tour is just the beginning of his career. He’s been up-and-coming since last year, but I think he’s ready to break out into the superstar he is. His humbleness and perseverance put together brings out the person he is today. Make sure you keep an eye out, Brett Young’s destined for nothing but great things.

Unapologetically Obsessed With Kelsea Ballerini’s New Album

Kelsea Ballerini did it again. Having such high expectations for her new album “Unapologetically,” and she fulfilled them. I’ve been very impatient after hearing her teasers she released a few months ago, and now that it’s finally here, I can say it’s the best lyrically written album I’ve heard this year.

Her album written as a storyline of her life is so unique and relatable to people, especially young women. We’re growing up with her from “Graveyard’ to Legends,” and that’s what makes it so special. From start to finish this album is pure gold and there ins’t a song that isn’t a hit.

She’s played some of her new songs on the road, but I’d have to say some of my favorites are the tracks that she saved for us to hear.

Starting with “Machine Heart, ” written by Kelsea, Greg Wells, and James Abrahart. This track is one of the pure songs for girls in their teens/twenties going through finding out who they are and realizing their heart isn’t something people can take advantage of. It’s about self actualization. Kelsea nailed the lyrics. There are too many lyrics I can pull out, pretty much the entire song, but the words that really stood out to me were:

“I kept it quiet
But now you’ll hear it scream
Cause good or bad or right or wrong
It’s finally found its beat”

Her emphasis when she sings the lyrics stands out. You don’t even need to be actually paying attention when you hear the song, because it’s striking enough to grab your attention right back to it when you hear it.

Ladies, “Get over Yourself” written by Kelsea, Shane McAnally and Ross Copperman is the sassy bop of the century. The amount of times I’ve replayed this song and felt like a badass is unhealthy.

“I didn’t miss a beat when I heard you were seeing, somebody else
And, I’m, over you thinking that every move that I’m making is just a game that I’m playing, because my heart is still breaking
Boy, I’m over you, I’m over you”

She unleashed her inner ego that every girl has been wanting/needing to hear. If you forced me to pick a favorite song from this album, this would be it.

“In Between” written by Kelsea, Jimmy Robbins, and Shane McAnally shows exactly what us college students are thinking. We’re all stuck in the middle of not knowing what we’re doing, but somehow Kelsea calmed it down for us in this melody. I think it’s a song us girls need to hear when we’re not exactly sure where our place is in life.

“I’m half head up in the clouds, half feet down on the ground
‘Cause it ain’t that simple
As an adult sittin’ on that page when they say, “Act your age“
But you’re stuck there in the middle”

Kelsea says “It captures as honestly as I could exactly where I’m at in my life right now,” and I think every girl can relate. It’s the last song she recorded for her album and one of her favorites.

Kelsea’s future is nothing but up from here. She is going to be the game-changer for women in country music, whether people like it or not. After dropping “Unapologetically,” she’s dangerous in the music industry. There’s not one song on this album that can’t break top 10 on the charts, take a listen for yourself.

 

Girls Of Nashville: Reminding Music Who’s Boss

A seasonal songwriting show, Girls Of Nashville, showed just what women in music are made of. Every year these girls come together celebrating artists and songwriters, and it doesn’t disappoint. Colbie Caillat was there, so obviously it can’t even be close to disappointment. Do you believe me now?

Maddie Larkin started the first round, and at the end of the night became one of my favorites. Her debut single “45” that released in August, has quickly looped over 50,000 plays on Spotify. I’ve heard many stories from my friends on how talented she is, but have never had the chance to see her until this night; I’m glad I did. She did sing her single “45,” but another song she sang “Expectations,” is a future hit.

Warner/Chappel and THiS music writer Emily Weisband has been killing the music industry lately. She earned her first Grammy for Contemporary Christian Music Performance/song, along with her first Dove Awards MusicRow Award nomination. Did I mention she recently just announced she’s being featured on Luke Bryan’s new album? She’s been one of my favorites for a long-time now, so just being able to finally meet and see her made my night. She sang her co-write “Good Time To Be Alive,” recently cut and on Lady Antebellum’s new album. Additionally, she sang one of her new songs “Naked,” that she wrote for her little sister whom was comparing herself to other girls that her “boyfriend” was seeing. One of my favorite qualities about Emily is how up-front and real she is with her lyrics, and “Naked” exemplifies perfectly what I’m talking about.

If you don’t know Caitlyn Smith, what are you doing with your life? After years being spent in Nashville writing songs for Garth Brooks, Meghan Trainor, and Dolly Parton, she’s finally having the big break she deserves with her EP “Starfire.” Caitlyn has that voice where she can sing the alphabet and it would still blow my mind on how good she is. She was hitting notes I didn’t even think were possible. She made it look easy and was a total natural. Here she is singing her song off her EP, “Tacoma.” 

I have to throw Colbie Caillat in here because my middle-school self was freaking out right when she started singing “Bubbly.” She told her story on how this song came about; how she recorded a bunch of songs not even thinking she was making an album. Her friend put all her demos on Myspace and it quickly became popular. Hearing her story intrigued me because even though I’ve listened to her music constantly, I never knew the exact story on how she started. She moved to Nashville one-year-ago and says its the best decision she has ever made. Here’s Colbie singing “Bubbly,” you’re welcome.

Girls Of Nashville season showcases exactly what people need to see when they come to Nashville. Every women who was on that stage killed it and showed people what women in music are made of. This is only the beginning for women in music, and these ladies proved that during this round. Each year it gets better and better even when you think it can’t. If you live in Nashville or are coming to visit, make sure you come to one of these show’s. Women in music are taking over, you heard it here first.

CMT Artist Of The Year Awards Seat Fillers To Front Row Wannabe Celebrities

About one month ago my friend and I got an email about being a seat filler for the CMT Artist Of The Year Awards. Of course, we signed up right away. I haven’t been a seat filler for any award show yet; I just turned 18 this past summer. This was going to be my big break.

We got our email saying we were in, picked up our tickets the night before and were ready for our night of fame. We didn’t think 24 hours later we’d be sitting directly next to Luke Bryan and his wife.

We bought our dresses and had our hair done, because what else would two teenage girls do for an award show? We showed up thinking we’d just be in general admission, sitting up high, and far away from our idols. However, we checked in and the casting lady was staring directly at me for about 10 minutes. I was terrified to be completely honest. She pulled me out of the crowd and said, “You.. you’re going to sit in one of the front tables.” In that moment, my life flashed before my eyes.

We were sitting at the table right next to Luke Bryan. Jason Aldean, Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, and Florida George Line were all in the same area. So yes, I was freaking out.

All of the artists performed, so I’m going to share with you some of my favorite performances of the night, starting off with Keith Urban’s stripped-down version of “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” If Keith Urban is on stage, you’re never going to be disappointed. He is the most humble, down-to-earth artist I’ve ever seen perform, and you don’t even need to meet him to see that. He always dedicates his songs to his wife, Nicole Kidman, who I think I was obsessing over more than Keith the entire night. He points to her right at the end of the song and says, “I love you, baby.”

One performance I didn’t even see coming was Philip Philips singing “Body Like A Backroad,” honoring Sam Hunt’s single because Sam couldn’t be there. I was extremely skeptical about it, hearing that he was going cover it, but it was actually one of my favorites from the night. He made the song his own and killed it. It was funky and groovy, and reflected on what we can expect in Philip’s new album coming out soon.

Lastly, my all-time favorite performance was the closing one: Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town’s cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Jason Aldean has been performing this song paying tribute to the Las Vegas shooting victims. It gave me the chills hearing this and honestly every artist covering this song at times like these. Music does heal all. This performance just proves it.

Jason’s cover of “I Won’t Back Down” is now on iTunes supporting charity for Las Vegas victims. You can buy it here.

It was a perfect night of pretending we were famous for an hour and a half. It was like the artists were in a bubble and we had the opportunity to look in. Even though we weren’t allowed to take pictures with the artists, just having our night of acting like we were one of them was good enough for us. We couldn’t have had better seats, and because of that we’re going to have PCD (Post Concert Depression) for a long time.

Since we’re famous and all now, if you want to get in contact with us make sure you call our publicist.

When was the last time you had your night of fame?

Russell Dickerson: Yours Album Release Kick-Off

Russell Dickerson proved himself on Wednesday night that he’s the up-and-coming entertainer of the year. His energy and love for his fans made the opening night in Nashville for his album release even more special. There wasn’t one second where you weren’t jumping around not having a care in the world. That’s when you know you’re at a good show; you’re making remarkable memories dancing like a complete idiot.

Russell’s debut album Yours dropped on Oct 13, and has nothing but absolute jams left and right. Even though his album is all about being confidently taken and in love, it’s refreshing because I think we’re all a little too used to break-up ballads, along with the catchiest songs you’ll ever hear.

“Some people try to put on this facade of being single and desirable, but some people want a relationship. That’s what’s changed for me, is being confident in being taken. It’s the best thing ever.” – Russell Dickerson, Billboard.

Russell being in love and not caring who knows, has made Yours a 12-track love letter to his wife. Along with Yours being his album title, his single “Yours” fulfilled his big break on the charts. “This is my splash into this industry and this business,” Russell tells Billboard about the song “Yours.” “I’m so proud of everything on the record, but that song in particular has done it for me, so I wanted to continue on with that title.” 

He sang almost every song on Yours, and lucky for you I recorded all of them. I won’t give too much away; you’re going to have to go see him live yourself.

“Low Key” is one of the stripped-down songs on Yours, but it’s high key the slow song that still makes you want to sway back-and-forth. It’s a laid-back love song that I think everyone can relate to, staying in with your partner and doing absolutely nothing but ordering takeout and watching Netflix. Even if you don’t have a partner, honestly just relate it to yourself, staying in and doing nothing like it’s your job.

“Would You Love Me” is the most romantic bop I’ve ever listened to. Can you tell he’s in love yet? Russell had the crowd letting loose to this one. His “relationship goals” with his wife are reflecting to think we’re also involved in their relationship with this song. It positively struck the crowd even though the whole front row were 18-21 years olds.

His concert was the right amount of fun you needed to take the stress off. Russell is always up-beat and made to be an entertainer; his album clearly reflects that. His uplifting and positive personality indicates what kind of artist he is and what he is going to become. Even if you’re not in love and feel as if you can’t relate to Yours, I’m an 18-year-old blasting this in my dorm with my friends since it came out, trust me, you can do it. Go ahead and take a listen; you might surprise yourself.

 

Association Of Independent Music Publishers: 3rd Annual Songwriter Series Takes The Country

I think the title of this is pretty interesting. I mean, Independent Music Publishers, what isn’t eye catching about that? The third-annual AIMP Songwriter Series was held at The Country on Monday, Sept 25. Shout-out to my mom for sending me important writers rounds she knows I wouldn’t want to miss. Yes, I just shouted-out my mom.

The round included Hannah Ellis, Ross Ellis, Michael Hardy, Daniel Ross, and Sarah Turner. It was short, but sweet, and just the right amount you needed to hear in a night. It started out with Ross Ellis, Hannah Ellis, and Daniel Ross in the first round.

I had never heard of Ross Ellis before this night, and for sure I thought Hannah and he were related because what did I know? Long story short, they weren’t even related. Yes, it was bothering me the entire show. I’ll get to the point now.

Ross Ellis was born and raised in Monterey, Louisiana. He got the attention of BMI’s Bradley Collins after playing writers rounds in Nashville. Long story short, Ross signed with Big Deal Music, and now he’s writing and playing shows. His voice reminded me of Kip Moore at the end of the night. Then I went to his Soundcloud and got even more of a Kip Moore meets Brett Young sound, if that’s even possible. Here’s a snip of his song “Neon Church.”

Hannah Ellis is that singer/songwriter you can just relate to every song she comes out with. She has a special voice, and it just makes you never want to stop listening to her. Her single, “Temporary Feeling,” was just released last Friday and already has over 400,000 loops on Spotify. Also, she just came out with “ILYSoWhat” that’s an absolute jam. However, as much as I am in love with “Temporary Feeling” and “ILYSoWhat,” the song that stood out to me the most was the second one she sang, “Never In Love.” She said she wrote it with Josh Kerr and how it basically “spilled out in conversation.” I wish my conversations spilled out like this…

Look out for Hannah Ellis, because she’s going places with her new EP coming out soon. Especially touring with Russel Dickerson this fall, things are just getting started for her.

Daniel Ross, Big Machine Music and Tree Vibez Music signee, moved to Nashville after graduating from Western Carolina University in 2015 and quickly put himself into the songwriting scene. My first time ever seeing him was summer of 2016 here in Nashville, and I remember him saying it was his first time playing a round, being fairly new to him. Even though he says he doesn’t play rounds often, I don’t believe him for one second. I see your Instagram posts; Ross, you can’t hide from me when you post when you’re playing. Here’s one of my favorites he sang, “Break It In.”

Sarah Allison Turner and Michael Hardy played in the next round, and if you haven’t heard “I Should Go To Church Sometime” sung by Tyler Farr, these two geniuses wrote it along with Brinley Addington. Rolling Stone explains the song as “A Christian-specific view of guilt, with Farr figuring the answer to his torment in a Church pew, but it asks bigger questions about how and why we put off our opportunities to heal.” This song puts a different perspective on break-ups, which is why it’s so successful. Here’s a snip of Sarah and Michael’s version of “I Should Go To Church Sometime.”

These five artists are just beginning to leave their mark in the Nashville music scene. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Which of the artists were your favorites after listening to the snips?

 

 

 

 

Carly Pearce’s Album Release Party: Inside Every Little Thing

After hearing most of Carly Pearce’s album this Monday night, I don’t think the world is ready for her. After just signing to Big Machine Label Group in the past year, Carly’s single “Every Little Thing” breaking top 10 on country airplay this week is just the beginning for her.

Her compassionate and humble mindset bringing everyone that was involved in making her album on stage showed just how thankful she was for not only getting to make a record, but also for everyone who was a part of her journey.

Lucky for you, I’m going to give you a little taste of Carly’s new album Every Little Thing before it comes out on Oct 13.

I’m not going to show you EVERY little “thing” of the show (see what I did there),  but I am going to share some of my favorites that I think could go a long way. Not just on country airplay, but songs for girls to relate to.

She brought up Shane McAnally, who is an absolute genius in the songwriting industry. If you’re not familiar with him, he wrote “Body Like A Backroad,” sung by Sam Hunt, which is currently No. 1 on country airplay. Emily Shackelton, who has written songs for Cassadee Pope and Sara Evans. You can’t forget the one-and-only Hillary Lindsey who is a legend on music row, writing hits for Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town.

One of my first favorites was “Hide The Wine,” which Carly cut from Hillary Lindsey. This is the most throw-back country women’s 2000 song I’ve ever heard, and it could unquestionably go far up those charts. As we all know, Hillary Lindsey would not steer you wrong on any song that she writes, and this one for sure is a hit. Take a listen, and if you love wine, this is your song…. just saying.

This one, she wrote with Emily Shackelton, called “Careless,” is for sure a Carly Fierce song. This hard-core girl anthem is going places. It’s one song that every girl can probably get over her ex right after hearing this gem. I think every girl out there is trying to find a song to relate to in this category; Carly and Emily hit the target on these lyrics.

Next up I can’t tell if it’s one of my favorites because Carly’s voice sounds amazing with it, or that Shane was a part of writing it, or both…. definitely both. This one’s called “Feel Something.” Carly explained during the show that when she showed her mom the song, her mom said, “Omg cut it.” I’m glad she listened to her mom, because this one is special.

Do you feel too teased yet? I told you this album is going to be a game-changer. After all of the controversy over the years with women not getting the recognition and airplay time they deserve, I believe Carly will start a movement and her sales will go through the roof. Carly deserves all of this, seeing what she’s gone through the years to get here, and it’s heartening to see that everyone else is recognizing that too. Every Little Thing can and will be revolutionary for representing women in country music; you heard it here first.

If you haven’t pre-ordered Every Little Thing yet, I suggest you go and do that now. Let’s start supporting women in country music and giving them the acknowledgment they deserve.

Carly’s heading out on Brett Young’s CALIVILLE tour this fall; do you have your tickets yet?